Sunday, April 22, 2007

Conventional Moves

Friday night my wife and I went to PENGUINCON, a computer/science fiction convention of sort in Troy, Michigan. I went to hear a panel discuss: The Lovecraft Legacy, and to do a little Cthulhu role-playing. I also went to make fun of the people at the convention, who am I fooling? (Cthulhu pictured to the right)

And yes, there were furries. Anyone who has read my blog for some time may know that I experienced my first furry at the last convention I attended. For those of you who don't know, and I respect you for NOT knowing, a furry is someone who likes to dress up as a furry little animal and run around. They will wear little noses, ears, tails...some of them will even put on an entire body covering costume: Full Body Furries.

I think I need to organize one of these events to be in downtown Detroit and not one of the suburban hotels. Before I die, I want to see a furry or two walking through the Detroit urban landscape.

That being said, let me address the panel discussing The Lovecraft Legacy.

The panelists, with the possible exception of William Jones ( who had difficulty getting a word in edgewise) , didn't seem to approach the subject of Lovecraft with any real erudition; and topically they were all over the place.

The structure of a panel?

A moderator asks a question, then some members of the panel take turns being pompous while other members wait in vain for an opportunity to speak. Meanwhile, the audience, eager to approve and to be approved of, ask inane questions that other members of the audience want to answer so badly that they wet their seats.

I think what would have made this panel more attractive (and not just this panel, but most panels at these conventions) is to have each speaker with a prepared text on the subject (perhaps coordinating with one another beforehand to avoid repetition). After the erudite speecifying, the audience would then be allowed to ask questions based on the text, to clarify the positions or address specific issues raised by the speaker. I'd even let the seat wetters talk.

I will be posting a picture or two from the convention in a day or so. I hope. By the way, the gaming afterward was tremendous fun.

17 comments:

SQT said...

I think I would have been completely preoccupied with the furries. Just the idea of these people in the same building would have creeped me out a little.

DesLily said...

of all the conventions I've attended.. I've never seen a "furry"!!.... this is NOT a complaint!.. I don't think I want to see one lol.. how lucky can you get Stewart?!

Claudia said...

your talk of furries only makes me think of the CSI episode in which some guy dressed as a raccoon(?) gets killed.

ShadowFalcon said...

furries? I think I saw a CSI about that once - ah thanks claudia exactly what I was thinking

avery said...

I find furries fascinating. Almost as fascinating as the doormat guy at fetish clubs. I don't really see the turn-on in either sweating one's butt off in a fuzzy getup or having a stiletto heel put a cigarette out on one's back, but if it makes 'em happy...

Sorry the panel was so disappointing. I've never been to one. It's actually my nightmare -- to go to a panel where someone is so into my book that they know more about it than I do, and I get that question, "Avery, in chapter four you said... And then in chapter fifty-two you said..." And I'm busted by a fan for having some microscopic plot hole.

etain_lavena said...

Sounds fun...I always wonder how it would feel to run full steam at one of those costumes dudes and jump on them....whahaha....There is fetish also attached to those costumes that are quite funny....but anywhoo...wounds like it was boring and fun:)
enjoy the week:)

etain_lavena said...

sounds...not wounds...sorry:)

Charles Gramlich said...

Panels can be really hit or miss at small conventions, and large ones. when you get some good people going back and forth it can be both educational and hilarious. But sometimes it can die on the vine. At my last con I turned out to be the "only" panelist to show up. I did a bit of a song and dance but the audience seemed to have some fun.

Stewart Sternberg said...

SQT, deslily, Claudia,shadowfalcon I really hate myself for judging the furries. If they're having a good time, then god bless them. And god bless the woman dressed all in black with the ridiculous cleavage and the pink hair. And god bless the guy running around with a full body TRON suit.


Avery, the doormat submissive...don't get me started. He would tell you: "I am submissive because my submission is a gift. It takes power and self control to offer oneself up for humiliation and submission."

Charles, I think a panel could be a good thing. But I would love to see one with more substance. I think maybe having four or five people and giving them an hour to address a broad topic is too limiting.

Kate S said...

Furries and doormat men. Damn, I've got to get out more. Life is just passing me by.

SQT said...

Stewart

I feel a little bad too, but it is hard not to look at the furries and go "huh?"

Jon said...

And of course my mind turns to sex. I have to wonder if Furry couples (or Trekker couples for that matter) have sex in costume, or "in character" as they might say. God...that probably makes me weirder than they are.

avery said...

Stewart -- Fortunately I found a spot at the bar where the floor wasn't littered with empowered people and got my drink.

Jon -- That's a BIG thing with the furries. Don't know about the Trekkies, though.

Kate -- You'd have a whole slew of new twists on your stories if you got out to a few alternative/BDSM nights at clubs.

Sphinx Ink said...

I haven't been to any similar cons, so I'll have to ask Charles whether people attending them here dress as Furries. It wouldn't be so weird in this area--hey, we love Carnival, and don't blink an eye at costumes the year round. I think the Full-Body Furries would have problems, though, 'cause it's usually so hot here they'd collapse from the heat wearing the full furry costume. (I always feel sorry for the mascots of the Zephyrs, our minor-league baseball team. The mascots dress as nutria--similar to beavers, but meaner-looking and without the big flat tail--a furry denizen of the Louisiana swamps and canals. Anyway, those mascots must just about die in the warm season here, which typically ranges from April through September and is HOT AND HUMID to the nth degree. Imagine 98 degrees at 90 percent humidity, that lasts from the end of May through the middle of September....

Lucas Pederson said...

A light tap on the shoulder. You freeze, breath held, you turn and...
AHHHHHHHHH!
The worlds largest furry wants to give you a hug!!
It's closing in on you, you have nowhere to go..it giggles.
(Shudder)
Yeah. I think I'll stay right here at my desk, thank you very much. Glad to hear the gaming went well!

Fab said...

Wow Jon, reading your comment just gave me mental picture I will not soon get rid of...

Furries. Hm. I can understand that if you desperately need to make money, you do a job dressed as a furry. But to put it on willingly... I don't get the attraction.

Asara said...

I think that if given the chance, I would BE a furry.

But maybe that's in my head, I dunno :D